But it's too easy for a legitimate desire for higher returns to turn into greed -- which led to the tech bubble of and early Legitimate caution can turn into fear, making investors shun risks they can afford and should take. When pride gets into the picture, investors get cocky and take too much risk to beat the market. All investors have these emotions in different proportions.
One or more of them drive a person to make certain investment decisions. If fear drives you, you'll be more cautious. If it's greed or pride, you're willing to take undue risks for higher returns. The key is to acknowledge these emotions and manage them so they won't be detrimental to your portfolio. If the down market has hit portfolios badly, investors may feel bitten and become overly cautious, he said.
Third, an investor's need to break even might make him or her take greater risks to get back to the original balance. How do you stop emotions from taking over?
Decide ahead of time when you want to sell or buy, such as setting a target price, he said. It's easier to decide to sell at a certain price before the stock actually drops. Set quantitative criteria. Invest only if it meets your own pre-set parameters. This avoids emotional buying of stocks, trading, or buying on tips. Lastly, boost your willpower.
If you can't stand seeing the market drop and you're invested for the long term, don't follow it everyday. Control your environment, Nofsinger said.
The psychology of investing nofsinger adobe
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